Who Knows Where (Singer’s Dream)

Kid arrives just in time to sample Zia’s famous cooking.  He wolfs down too much too fast, and it all goes to his head.

I’ve said a lot about the Kid but he ain’t the only one wrapped up in all this. What’s he thinking? Well let me see if I’ve got this straight. I only heard it once. Once there was a normal Ura girl. But she wasn’t born in the Tazal Terminals like the rest of her people. She was from Caelondia. Her folks were orphaned in the war, taken in and raised inside the City, on condition they would never return to the Terminals. Ura refugees who came into the City had to stay for life. It was a way to reduce the risk of City secrets leaking out. Her mama passed away from birthing complications, leaving the girl trapped inside that City with no one but her father. Her father was sharper than a Brusher’s pike so he got a job working for the City’s Mancers. His daughter barely saw him. Her father told her nothing of her Ura heritage. He told her nothing of the Mancers. It’s for your own good, he said. She took to studying the arts. Learned more through music than history books. Gained a knack for strings and songs. At first she tried to be like other girls. But her classmates spread word that her father was an Ura traitor selling out the City. One young man stood up for her, or so he led her to believe. He knew much of her heritage, and she grew fond of him. The young man convinced her to take him to her family den to meet her father. Spoke of how he wanted to meet a man from the Terminals. When the young man greeted her father in the Ura’s native language, her father flew into a fit of rage, and threw them out. The young man never told her that the Ura’s native language is not to be used by foreigners; to do so is a terrible insult. It was then that she decided to escape. The two of them could flee the City together, and go to the Tazal Terminals. They would hide inside a garbage bin until it got ingested by a Scumbag, then let him slosh on out of the City for disposal. Her plan almost succeeded. But the authorities were already there when that Scumbag sidled up to the City Walls. The young man had sent the authorities a tip. Told them her father was using her to sell secrets to the Tazal Terminals. She and her father were arrested for treason. But her father got a deal: Return to work for the Mancers, and she’d go free. Before they parted ways for the last time, her father whispered a desperate plea: Hurry home to the den and lock yourself in. She did as she was told. And deep down underground inside that den, she found a journal written in her father’s hand. The next day the door to the den turned to ash. The girl came up for air… and she saw the Calamity all around her.

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